Microsoft’s upcoming “Mango” update for Windows Phone 7 re-thinks the relationship between apps and the platform in two fundamental ways. First, the platform itself does many of the things that apps do on other platforms. For example, the integrated Bing search recommends restaurants, shows lyrics for whatever music is playing, finds places to shop, etc. That means developers will have to push the envelope to create apps that do new and unexpected things in order to add functionality that isn’t already in the phone.
Second, Mango pushes apps to users instead of waiting for them to look for them. The “QuickCards” feature analyzes users’ Web searches and recommends apps related to their interests. That could be very good for developers who are struggling to stand out in a crowd on other platforms.